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A look at Boot Camp
eWEEK has posted the first review of Apple's 'Boot Camp', a beta technology released on Wednesday that will be included with the next release of Mac OS X Leopard. The review talks about the file format choices for users, but notes that data exchange between the operating systems is limited: "When we installed XP on our Mac, we had the option of choosing between the two, but we stuck with NTFS. Windows XP operates just fine on FAT32, but Microsoft defaults to NTFS with good reason--NTFS supports more granular access rights, built-in file compression and encryption, partitions larger than 32GB and file system journaling, among other features. Once we'd completed our Mac-to-Windows-and-back journey, we could read our NTFS-stored files, but we could not change them or write new files on our Windows partition. The Linux kernel ships with read-only support for NTFS, as well as and experimental read-write support." The review concludes that despite the limitations, Boot Camp offers Apple hardware buyers more choices: "We welcome this gesture of openness."
Magpie Outfit Nano case
Magpie today debuted its Magpie Outfit, a protective case for Apple's iPod crafted after the company owner's love of fashion and fitness. The Outfit features both a belt clip and a removable keychain, allowing users to carry the enclosure on a backpack or purse. Additionally, the belt clip orientation is designed to make it easy for users to see and work the iPod. The reinforced vinyl comes in six colors that consist of "Sunflower power" with green trim, "think pink" with blue trim, "banana cabana" with white trim, "juicy oranges" with yellow trim, "flamenco lace" with red trim (shown at right), and "rose garden" with pink trim. Magpie Outfits cover the screen and clickwheel with clear plastic, and are available for iPod nano for $25. The company said it plans to add covers for other iPod models in the near future.
Dictionary for iPod
IPREPpress and Merriam-Webster today released the Merriam-Webster's Pocket Dictionary for iPod, the first all-text brand-named dictionary for the iPod. The downloadable dictionary includes 40,000 words and their definitions, a pronunciation guide, abbreviation guide, and a handbook of style. Under the partnership, the companies will produce a series of quality portable references for the iPod over the next two months, including: Merriam-Webster's Pocket Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster's Rhyming Dictionary for song and hip-hop writers, Merriam-Webster's Pocket Atlas, and The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Quotations. Merriam-Webster's Pocket Dictionary is available with simple scroll and click navigation, and users can search for words on the iPod through a hierarchical menu and hyperlinked structure. Additionally, the iPod can play tunes in the background while viewing dictionary entries on-screen. The dictionary is currently available for $10.
Apple\'s closing arguments
A lawyer representing Apple Computer today made closing arguments for the Cupertino-based tech company in the Apple Computer v.s. Apple Corps case, arguing that his client is entitled to display the Apple logo because it promotes the iTunes store, not the music itself. "Viewers... have significant understanding of what Apple Computer does, and the object of the exercise, accepted by people watching, was to get the benefit of the download," said Anthony Grabiner, attorney for Apple Computer. Grabiner closed his case by defending an Apple Computer advertisement which featured Irish crooners U2, rapper Eminem and mellow rock ensemble Coldplay, according to the Associated Press. The lawyer added that Apple Computer's distribution of digital entertainment content was permitted by a 1991 agreement between Apple Computer and Apple Corps. The interpretation of that agreement forms the basis for the current court battle.
XRackPro info, enterprise
In brief: GizMac Accessories today offered additional details about its XRackPro 4U noise reduction enclosure rackmount cabinet.... Boot Camp -- Apple's new software that allows users to boot Windows XP on Intel Macs -- may give potential enterprise customers a reason to test drive Apple's offerings, which would plunge the Cupertino-based company into a market that was previously hesitant to use its products.... Graphicxtras.com has begun shipping a new collection of swatches, colorful gradient designs, and more than 7600 royalty-free swatches for Adobe Illustrator ($8).... A new study suggests that car makers are ignoring the iPod market, but that many new car buyers are owners of iPods or other MP3 players.... A recent survey of teenagers revealed that Apple's iPod is still the dominant player, and that iPod usage is continuing to rise.
Artis Simple List 1.4 ($10) updates the classic to-do list application, adding a new printing of do-list lists and offering native compatibility with Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary. The software features an instant search field, keyboard shortcuts, unlimited undo/redo, sorting, priorities, and a document-based model that lets users put the to-do list together with the other files of the project. Bonjour support allows users to forward to-do items to colleagues via drag-and-drop.
[Download - 268KB]
TapDex 3.0 (free) is a Universal Binary version of the Address Book companion. The software displays a small search box at the touch of a hot key, narrowing down searches as users type. TapDex is designed to run in the background, and can be customized to auto-launch on login. TapDex requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [Download - 749KB]
Watcher 3.4 (€10), a computer usage monitoring tool, has been mostly rewritten for this release. Watcher 3 offers the ability to temporarily lock the computer to stop the credit countdown and runs natively on Intel-based Macs. The update includes several bug fixes, offers increased responsiveness, and adds the ability to hide or show the menu bar lock on demand. [Download - 963KB]
ClickScroll 2.0 (€6) allows users to scroll without scrollbars or scrollwheels using the mouse. ClickScroll supports both single- and multi-button mice, and works natively with Intel-based Macs. The update enables ClickScroll to be activated via key combinations, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [Download - 1.9MB]
FileXaminer 2.5.4 ($10) enables users to get info on items in Mac OS X, and modify file/folder attributes that the Finder cannot. FileXaminer can edit such properties as Mac type/creator info or UNIX permissions, and works with Path Finder. Version 2.5.4 repairs an issue related to contextual menus on Intel Macs. FileXaminer requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [Download - 2.9MB]
Layer Groups 1.0 ($30) is a plug-in for Adobe InDesign CS and CS2, creating a new way to utilize and organize layers in documents. Users can sort layers into folders, and can set the non-printing attribute to an entire layer. The plug-in is designed to allow users to navigate layers without getting lost in them. [Download - 1.7MB]
iPod still dominating
A recent survey of teenagers revealed that Apple's iPod is still the dominant player [subscription required], and that iPod usage is continuing to rise. Analyst firm Piper Jaffray's eleventh semi-annual survey of teens found that 77 percent of teens who own a music player have an iPod, up from 74 percent from last fall. Of those aiming to buy such a player, 88 percent were looking to buy an iPod, versus 79 percent last fall. Online music stores showed similar increases, with 71 percent use iTunes, up from 64 percent from fall, according to the Wall Street Journal. "That's why we're still in the stock," Stephen Coleman of Daedalus Capital said. "It's had incremental growth in unit sales every quarter for the last 11 quarters. There was this thing people said about consumer electronics companies having a let-down after the holidays, but they said the same thing last year, and it didn't happen."
New iWeb templates
iLifeStuff, a developer of add-ons for Apple's iLife applications, has released three new iWeb templates: Yellow, Wood and Water. "All of iLifeStuff's templates are professional grade, same as Apple's. Now you can have total confidence that your template is right for your new website," according to the developer. "Creating a website with iLifeStuff templates is a snap. Simply download and install with a few clicks. Every single template comes with installer application, so user won't have to worry about moving template to iWeb. You'll find each of three templates conveniently displayed in iWeb's templates menu." Yellow, Wood and Water templates contain several page layouts for "About Me", photo album, blog, podcast and movie. It lets user to choose their own template and create a unique website with custom fonts, colors and layouts. iLifeStuff's templates for iWeb requires iWeb 1.0 or later. Each template is available for $13, while a package of all three templates is $30.
\'Boot Camp\' helps future
Analysts believe that Apple's Boot Camp technology, released as a public beta earlier today and expected to ship as part of Mac OS X Leopard, could boost sales of Apple's operating system and signal an opportunity for marketshare gains. "we believe AAPL could benefit from a significant OS upgrade cycle starting in its December quarter," UBS analyst Ben Reitzes told clients. "We believe this move positions Apple to gain share with customers reluctant to purchase Macs due to concerns over interoperability with Windows systems (currently over 90 percent of the PC market)." Echoing sentiments similar to that of other analysts, Reitzes also believes that Apple is well-positioned to benefit from Mac share gains due to the "iPod Multiplier Effect," though a recent survey showed a disconnect between the iPod and Apple brands.
Creative warns of loss
Creative Technology today warned of an operating loss in its fiscal third quarter that ended in March, saying lower margins and inventory write-downs were responsible. The company's Zen and Nomad media players are in direct competition with Apple's iPod line, and while Creative's players work with Windows Media Player, the devices are incompatible with the iTunes Music Store. Creative warned in February that it would realize one-off charges of approximately $9 million due to graphic unit restructuring, and now the company expects an operating loss of $55-65 million on revenues of $220-230 million, according to Reuters. "The operating loss is primarily attributable to a drop in flash memory prices in the quarter," Creative said. "The sharp drop had a significant negative impact on sales in March and resulted in lower revenues and gross margins and inventory write-downs in the period."
Group Logic today released MassTransit 5.0, an update to its enterprise-class file transfer solution. Designed to support the largest files and deliver the highest performance and reliability, MassTransit 5.0 offers a highly scalable three-tier architecture that combines the performance, scalability and reliability of the MySQL database with a separate MassTransit protocol file transfer engine and a stand-alone administration client. Version 5 offer better performance, improved administrative controls, SNMP-based monitoring, custom notifications via email, expanded business tools, and improved workflow.
New car buyers, iPods
A new study shows that 47 percent of new car buyers across the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France already own an iPod or other MP3 player, and that 35 percent are planning to buy a digital music player within the next year. Despite this, 48 percent are uninterested in an iPod interface when they buy their next new car. Over a third of new car buyers who own MP3 players want to play their MP3 music collection through the car audio system, and although burned CDs are the most preferable method for bringing digital music into vehicles, 36 percent want to connect their MP3 player with their car audio system. Aside from regional differences, overall demand for playing in-vehicle MP3 music is very strong across the US and Europe, according to the Strategy Analytics automotive consumer report.
iPatch iSight lens cover
The iPatch.com today began shipping the iPatch, a lens cover for the iSight camera built into Apple's Mac systems designed to ensure privacy. Users can slide the iPatch to one side during camera use, and re-cover the lens for complete privacy when finished. The patch can be permanently fixed in place with "Perma-fix," which is included with the iPatch, allowing business users to work on Macs in offices where cameras are prohibited. The iPatch is compatible with 17- and 20-inch iMacs, and comes in four styles varying in four colors. Styles include classic and curved, with colors ranging from "ivory" to "smoke." iPatch is available for $10.
Intel Mac firmware updated
Apple today released firmware updates for its Intel-based Macs to support Boot Camp, Apple's beta software that offers support to install and run Windows XP on Intel-based Macs. The firmware updates are available for the iMac Core Duo, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini Intel as well as a Firmware Restoration CD v 1.0, which can be used to restore the firmware of an Intel-based iMac (early 2006), Mac mini (early 2006), or MacBook Pro (early 2006) to original factory condition.
Boot Camp to help AAPL
Anlaysts believe this morning's release of Boot Camp may have a signficant impact on the industry. American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said that the release of the software to allow users to install and run Windows XP on Intel-based Macs could hurt other PC makers, while growing Apple's own market by attracting more switchers. "Steve Jobs did not disappoint on the 30th anniversary after all," Wu told clients in his research note, refering to this morning's announcement of the beta of Apple's Boot Camp. Available as a beta download now and expected to ship with Mac OS X Leopard, the next-generation operating system from Apple, Wu believes the release "is a big deal [that] potentially could be a significant game changer." The report noted that Apple's allure to switchers was limited because users were wary without Windows support.
ClearOne ships Chat 50
ClearOne today unveiled the Chat 50 personal speaker phone, a mobile audio peripheral that connects to a variety of devices to provide hands-free audio communication. The Chat 50 offers full-duplex capability, enabling users to simultaneously speak and listen without disruptions. The device provides audio playback for music, gaming, and other sound files in an enclosure slightly larger than a deck of cards. Users can connect the speaker phone to Apple's iPod, as well as any desktop or notebook system. The Chat 50 Plus ships with a USB cable, 2.5mm-3.5mm cell phone & telephone audio cable, power supply, quick start guide, and CD for $180. Another version, the Chat 50 Global Traveler, ships with all of the above items in addition to an iPod/MP3 player cable and travel case for $210.
Free icons, flash fab
In brief: Iconfactory today added another set of freeware application icons in the Agua style.... Toshiba and SanDisk today agreed to build a new 300mm wafer fabrication facility at Toshiba's Yokkaichi Operations to meet growing demand for NAND flash memory.... Intel today announced that it is the first company to sample NOR multi-level cell flash memory chips at 1GBit density using 65nm process technology.... Quark announced that Guernsey Press is adopting a 100 percent Mac workflow with Quark XPress 6.5, and is replacing its old editorial workflow with the Adapt Technology Editorial system from Press Computer Systems.... Jabra today launched the Jabra BT620s Bluetooth stereo headset ($130, shown at right), the A320s Bluetooth stereo USB adapter ($35), and four new music products at CTIA 2006.
Jabra Bluetooth headsets
Jabra today launched the Jabra BT620s Bluetooth stereo headset, the A320s Bluetooth stereo USB adapter, and four new music products at CTIA 2006. The Jabra BT620s (shown at right) enables users to switch between listening to music and talking on the phone, and will automatically pause music when a call comes in. The BT620s features 14 hours of music playing time, 16 hours of talk time, and up to 240 hours of life on standby. The Jabra A320s USB Bluetooth stereo adapter enables users to stream music, transfer data, or talk wirelessly by bringing Bluetooth capability to a desktop or notebook. The company is also offering the BT325s corded Bluetooth headset ($90), Jabra C820s corded stereo headphones ($180), the Jabra A125s ($60), and A120s ($50) Bluetooth stereo adapters. The Jabra BT620s is priced at $130, while the Jabra A320s USB Bluetooth stereo adapter is available for $35.
USB VoIP Skype Calling Kit
Iogear today introduced its USB VoIP Skype Calling Kit (model no. GVI2065U). The kit creates a landline telephone environment for VoIP users, featuring a dial pad, microphone, headset and two audio ports. The dial pad plugs into any USB port, providing greater convenience and accessibility to those functions that are generally limited to telephones, including the mute button and volume control. The product's audio ports enable audio switching, allowing users to direct the sound that is coming from the computer to either the headphones or external speakers, creating a robust conference call environment, while reducing office clutter with its compact size. The added USB 2.0 hub functionality features six USB ports, connecting up to six peripherals and enabling file transfers at speeds up to 480 Megabits per second. It is available immediately for $70 and ships with a three-year warranty.
D-Link 802.11n wireless
D-Link today announced that its first wireless networking products based on Draft 802.11n technology will be available later this month, providing greater real-world throughput, range and security in wireless home and office environments at speeds that mirror wired Ethernet networks. The D-Link RangeBooster N 650 series of wireless routers and network adapters incorporate the latest features made possible by IEEE's 802.11n Draft specifications which, when officially ratified by the organization, will serve as the new high-performance industry standard for wireless networking. The company said its D-Link's RangeBooster N 650 routers and adapters make up the Platinum Plus Series, designed for products for consumers looking to get whole home coverage and ultimate network performance as well as for large file transfers and multimedia streaming.
Cumulus 7 for Intel Macs
Canto today announced that Cumulus 7, the next version of its digital asset management software, will run natively on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs.. The upgrade will combine powerful workflow capabilities along with enhanced security features to facilitate collaboration for creative and production teams and their customers. Cumulus 7 will be built on the Cocoa interfaces of Mac OS X. This will allow to leverage the Java 1.4/1.5 interfaces, which it says are superior in performance, features and stability to the Java 1.3 interfaces to which the Cumulus 6.x versions, running on the Carbon interfaces, are limited. It will also feature a new Web Services interface that will allow solutions to integrate Cumulus functionality within portals or other business process solutions.
Boot Camp for Mactels
Apple today introduced Boot Camp, new public beta software that enables Intel-based Macs to run Windows XP. Available as a download beginning today, Boot Camp allows users with a Microsoft Windows XP installation disc to install Windows XP on an Intel-based Mac, and once installation is complete, users can restart their computer to run either Mac OS X or Windows XP. Apple said that Boot Camp will be a feature in "Leopard," Apple's next major release of Mac OS X, that will be previewed at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in August. "Apple has no desire or plan to sell or support Windows, but many customers have expressed their interest to run Windows on Apple's superior hardware now that we use Intel processors," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "We think Boot Camp makes the Mac even more appealing to Windows users considering making the switch."
iProtect for MacBook Pro
MaxUpgrades has released its iProtect Micro Screen Protector for Apple's MacBook Pro. The iProtect provides protection against dust, scratches, grease and oil that gradually get deposited on the laptop keybaord and plam rest area by every day use. It is made with ultrafine microfibers effectivly protect and removes dust particles, grease and finger prints that gets despoisted on the the laptop and also provides protection for laptop LCD Screen from keyboard and track pad indentation caused by the keyboard keys touching the display when the laptop is closed. iProtect Micro Screen Protector have two different surfaces designed to clean and protect laptop LCD screens. The soft vanquished surface on the front is designed for fine particle removal and dust cleaning, while the rough and interlacing strands of the knitted surface is designed to clean fingerprints, grease and marks. It is available for $9.
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